March 14, 2016 |
It's almost spring, and my electronic desk is accumulating more advice than I can share with you in a lifetime. An interesting bit of counsel comes from Lennox, which manufactures heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment: Leaves, weeds and grass collect on outdoor condenser units during the fall and winter, resulting in blocked air flow and reduced energy efficiency. Clearing the debris allows for unrestricted airflow, improving an air-conditioning system's efficiency, reducing operating costs, keeping the air clean, and increasing energy savings.
February 5, 2016
By Michael E. Kraft In December, delegates from 195 nations approved a remarkable global climate agreement. It calls for all countries to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases substantially. Most of these emissions come from the burning of fossil fuels, and the message couldn't be clearer: We need to change the way we generate and use energy, and do so quickly. The United States set a modest goal: cutting emissions by 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. In the face of persistent congressional opposition to climate-change policy, President Obama has used executive authority to move toward that goal, most notably through the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, which will regulate coal-fired power plants and new-vehicle fuel economy standards.
January 14, 2016 |
The Goldtex apartments at 315 N. 12th St. have received Philadelphia's first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold-level certification for a residential high-rise, according to the building's developer, Post Brothers. The 13-story tower earned the LEED Gold status from the U.S. Green Building Council for its energy efficiency and other environmentally friendly features, Post Brothers said in a statement. The design of the building, a former shoe factory, saves an estimated 15 million pounds of CO2 a year - the equivalent of the emissions from 1,200 motor vehicles - and runs entirely on wind-generated power, the company said.
December 26, 2015 |
The building engineer was skeptical, Scott Milne recalled. Replace 4,500 fluorescent lights with 2,250 brighter, more efficient LED bulbs that would pay for themselves after one year? But Milne, president of National Energy Technologies in Southampton, Bucks County, said he was able to persuade the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel, on North 17th Street, to go for it. Last week, the hotel got a $95,000 rebate check from Peco, just about equal to the cost of new LED bulbs sold by Milne's company.
November 22, 2015 |
New Jersey's updated Energy Master Plan, released by the Christie administration late Friday afternoon, continues to forecast a dim future for offshore wind development. "While the future may bring change, offshore wind in the U.S. is not economically viable at this time," according to the report, jointly released by the Board of Public Utilities and the Department of Environmental Protection. Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, was quick to denounce the update.
October 24, 2015 |
The SEPTA board decided Thursday to make the regional transit network more environmentally friendly with plans that are budget friendly, too. The transit agency will begin installing $18.3 million in energy-efficient technology on SEPTA regional rail trains and subway cars, and at five facilities. The plan involves installing LED lighting, water conservation, and a variety of capital improvements designed to reduce energy use. Baltimore energy company Constellation New Energy Inc. was contracted to do the upgrades.
April 17, 2015 |
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities on Wednesday approved a Public Service Electric & Gas plan to spend an additional $95 million on energy efficiency programs for health care facilities, multi-family housing and small urban businesses, government agencies and non-profits. PSE&G has already invested $227 million on energy efficiency efforts for those sectors through the end of 2014, subsidizing hundreds of hospitals, schools, city halls, firehouses, community service organizations and apartment buildings to save energy and money.
April 7, 2015
ISSUE | POLICE REFORMS Citizens should know the ground rules I would add a section to the recent federal report recommending changes in procedures and training in the Police Department (" 'Significant strife,' " March 24). It would include provisions that we should educate citizens that the police volunteered to protect and serve; that if you want to commit crimes, you should be prepared to be arrested; that if you decide to resist arrest, force will be used to control you; and that if you choose to shoot at officers, they will shoot back.
January 30, 2015 |
Joan Young's roof was leaking. The furnace wasn't in great shape, either. But the 70-year-old retiree had few options. "When you're working, it's different. You find the money," she said. On Social Security, "you just deal with what you can, and you try to keep the bills from being expensive, so you turn down the heat and you put on more clothes. " Then Young learned of a pilot program in Philadelphia that is seen as a way to conserve energy, aid the poor, make homes healthier to live in, and perhaps even act as a hedge against homelessness, bolstering the supply of low-income housing in the city.
October 20, 2014 |
If you work as a builder, what better way to experiment with new environmentally friendly techniques and materials than on your own house. That's what Matthew Seip and his wife, Sue, did at their Perkiomenville home, nestled on an acre or so of quiet land close to Green Lane Park and the Perkiomen Trail. For the Seips, buying and rebuilding the three-story, 1,500-square-foot house was an expression of their philosophy that less is more. They have a garden and raise chickens. Through composting, they teach their three children, Emmett, Elisabeth, and Nathan, about recycling.